This is what Ross Stewart really thinks about Sunderland nickname and Scotland future

Black Cats striker Ross Stewart has delivered an in-depth interview to the Scottish press.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 4:00 pm

“We are too big a club for League One and there is no doubt the goal is promotion but it is a long season and we can’t look too far ahead. “We just need to take it game by game and then see where it takes us come the end of the season.”

The 25-year-old moved to the Black Cats from Ross County last January. He admitted that the constant physical and emotional demands of England’s League One took a bit of getting but now he is very much into the groove

The striker joined Sunderland from Ross County last January but found himself mostly second choice to Charlie Wyke, who went on to net 30 goals for the Wearsiders.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action against Sheffield Wednesday.

Sunderland, however, were consigned to a fourth straight season in League One.

But with Wyke’s departure to Wigan Athletic in the summer after his contract expired, Stewart was promoted and now has the distinction of being Lee Johnson’s first first-choice striker.

The Scot hit the ground running and has netted 10 goals in 15 League One appearances so far this campaign, earning him an amusing nickname.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Stewart said: “When I heard the ‘Loch Ness Drogba’ I had a laugh… it is a belter.

“There has been a lot of talk in the dressing room about it and there has been a lot of banter flying about. It has stuck.

“In fairness, I have been called a lot worse so I have just taken it as a kind of compliment.

“Fair play to whoever came up with it.

“I was nicknamed ‘Crouchie’ at Ross County by a couple of the boys because of my height and it seemed to stick up until now.”

The 25-year-old claimed: “I have had a good start to the season but the positive for me is that I am now into double digits in terms of goals.

Sunderland have stuttered in League One in recent weeks, with losses to Charlton Athletic alongside heavy defeats to promotion rivals Rotherham United and Sheffield Wednesday.

Stewart, though, remains optimistic and upbeat.

"Personally, I am really happy with the way it is going. The team is also doing well.

“That was one of the big appeals of coming to Sunderland,” Stewart admitted. “I wanted to challenge myself and to see how I would cope with the pressure of playing at a massive club.

“There is pressure in every game to perform.

“I have coped with that because I keep putting pressure on myself to improve and to do as well as I can.”

Indeed, Stewart’s form has prompted talk surrounding a potentially call-up to Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad.

“There has been a lot of talk about a Scotland call-up down here.

“The manager (Lee Johnson) has told me that there was a Scotland scout at our game a couple of weeks ago.

“That was nice to hear. “It shows I must be doing something right and I am at least on the radar.

“As I said, it would be a dream come true if I was to get the Scotland call-up but I can’t get too hung up on it.

“I just need to keep doing well for Sunderland.”

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